In The Kitchee At Parties, All Aboard The Trans-Global Transfer Express

Arsenal’s tour of the Far East ended with a 2 – 2 draw against Kitchee in Hong Kong yesterday. Results and performances were a mixed bag, a win, draw and defeat are hardly inspiring fear in the rest of the Premier League but that was not the point. The manager has clear indications as to the progress of the fringe players.

In that sense he has seen the potential and knows that they are coming along but not yet ready to usurp any of the current first team incumbents. Afobe, Aneke, Yennaris and Eisfeld are proof that the Academy is preparing players well for future seasons. Afobe is this morning linked with a loan spell at Bolton. I know some will prefer a Premier League club but the expectation is that Bolton will be in the upper echelons of The Championship and the urgency of play in that division is maybe a steeper learning curve than the top flight might ordinarily offer.

Work needs to be done. Integrating new signings in the next fortnight is no small endeavour and having just one friendly is not an entirely satisfactory state of affairs but that is how events have played out. The manager is not happy with this, admitting that Giroud and Podolski may be ‘eased’ into the team in competitive matches; the suspicion is that this will depend on the situation with Robin van Persie. The Dutchman’s advisors were reported to have told United that a Rooney-sized salary will match his ambitions. Rather simplistically, that presumes Arsenal will give away the family silver once more. The cards are dealt and we see how the hand plays out.

Speaking before the team headed home, Arsène observed that there would be a match behind closed doors, albeit the first team vs reserves,

I decided to have one game behind closed doors to try and get a good opponent but at the moment it will be behind closed doors against ourselves. I have organised a training camp in Germany ahead of the Cologne game. It is a little bit unusual for us.

There is benefit in such a fixture although painful memories will recur for one or two of the squad who have fallen foul of the injury curse in previous summers. Even so, it is not ideal and that inference can be drawn from the sign-off phrase from the manager.

Aside from that, the defending in these three matches has been somewhere between woeful and abject. This is tempered by several caveats, not least of which is that the first choice backline has not been used. However it is the positional play which has caused most problems and the disorganisation on the pitch, baffling. Each of the goals conceded has been of Arsenal’s own making, none possessing the ‘Wow’ factor indicating it was an unstoppable passage of play. Malaysia took advantage of the lack of covering from midfield, advancing into shooting range. City took advantage of spaces afforded whilst Kitchee just took advantage.

It is disappointing to look back and see those goals go in; individual mistakes happen and the lack of urgency due to the nature of the matches contributes but some of the mistakes were so basic that even conceding them in training would bring derision. None of that will be lost on the manager and coaching staff, as post-match comments have indicated.

Commercially the feedback seems positive. A major objective of the tour has been achieved as the club seeks to exploit a lucrative market. Presumably this leg of the tour will be paired with Africa next summer, hoping to fulfil that excursion following this summer’s aborted playing visit to Nigeria.

This is reportedly a big week for Arsenal. Malaga’s financial deadlines expire today and contradictory reports emerge on an hourly basis from Spain. Big-wigs flew in with furrowed brows, players were excitedly left at home from tours even though there was apparently no plan to take them in the first place and those who should not be travelling have been smuggled into hold luggage. In other words, the usual rumour and subtefuge. As expectations rise, the likelihood of it all falling flat cannot be shaken. Just when you want something to happen, nothing does. Experience teaches us this but it doesn’t stop the hopes spiralling.

It seems that players deemed to be ‘deadwood’ are going to be departing this week. Wenger took the unusual step of naming Squillaci, Bendtner and Park as heading towards the exit door with a pace rarely witnessed on the pitch. With Park, anything on the pitch was rarely witnessed. Arshavin is the curio; no-one seems to be keen to commit to anything, other than his agent who is adamant that a big wage packet is going to seal any deal. It isn’t that simple but such honesty is refreshing in a game where loyalty is a card often overplayed.

His client’s time at The Emirates may not be over; the suspicion must be that this will depend on where Arsène sees his main role from the bench. Centrally, the Russian might be convinced to stay provided that he can convince the manager he will offer consistency. The likelihood is that remaining at Arsenal will see no change to the bit-part role which led Arshavin to a loan in St Petersburg and as such this staying seems a remote outcome.

’til Tomorrow.


Posted on July 29, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 300 Comments.

  1. Morning YW you seem to have posted on the 29th 2 times…..good as per norm

  2. Morning YW fair summation of the situation. No doubt the Jonahs will be out to moan about us conceding in a training session.

  3. It is difficult to asses the team from pre-season games. Chelsea and Man City have had some bad results. A few more games would have been handy, I can only guess the Emarites cup is off due to the Olympics?

    I do expect a much stronger Arsenal than last year, and I am sure Boldy will work on the defence, however, it is worrying that its the same problems again.

    I would really like the Cazorla stories to be true. I think he would add some real quality to the team and we would even look dangerous on the bench. With some good impact subs.


  4. i was wondering what was going on with park.
    we didnt take him on our asian tour which to my mind, makes me think hes on his bike and once hes gone his number goes to podolski..

  5. so robins not moving now becuase hes demanding 250k a week?
    i thought it was becuase nobody was prepared to pay the 30mil it will take to take him away from us..

    sick of these headlines man..

    not your headlines, obviously yogi, they are rather witty..but the headlines that say robins demanding this and all these clubs wont be held to ransom over a player whos not even theirs..

    just get carloza in and get rvp signed up with it and stick two fingers up at everyone..

  6. Eisfeld looks like he might bdevelop into a very good player (from the little I have seen of him). Always makes a positive impact, and was very confident evey time he got onto the pitch. 2 good finishes as well.

  7. JonJon, Park is playing in the Olympics and he has scored the goal to beat Switzerland. That is probably a better shop window for him than a few meaningless friendlies. He is actually a good goal poacher if he is playing at the right level as he seems to score practically everytime he plays. The PL was probably just too high a level for him.

    Can I please make a plea that it is Bould not Bold! I keep seeing this incorrect spelling and it is winding me up!

  8. JonJon, those headlines are just there to encourage the clicks. He’s probably not moving because Arsenal do not want to sell as no one has yet made them an offer they cannot refuse.

  9. ive often thought it would be beneficial to the academy boys to go out on loan in bulk to one club so they get to play together..

    maybe choosing a championship club, with limited finances, and sending them 4- 5 of our kids like afobe and aneke and eisfield would be beneficial to all parties

    we may need to affiliate with the club for loan move purposes..and they’d have to be guarenteed gametime..

  10. ahh so parks at the olympics..
    fairy nuff..

    i dont know how we can see it as a shop window though, nobodies watching it – all the seats are empty 😉

  11. nobodies brought up the spuds plight for a while..

    bale looks crocked, ade wants what hes owed so the move looks off ( good old ade) and by the time weve finished with carzola and sahin their wont be anyone left to replace modric.. 😉

  12. JonJon

    The scenario you have painted above is called the reserve league, or the Carling Cup.

    You cannot send out loanees and expect guaranteed gametime, it is a huge part of the process to gauge how the players cope with the change in surroundings, the adaptation to a possibly different system etc.

    Classic footage of The Jam there. Tremendous stuff. Listened to Sound Affects on saturday as it goes.

  13. steve
    no its not..
    the reserve league isnt at the same standard as the championship, dont talk wet..
    and the carling cup only gives them 4-5 games a year at competitive level at most..

    ‘you cannot send out loaness and expect guaranteed gametime’
    yes you can, thats why we send them out in the first place..

  14. JonJon

    You’re talking bollocks, sorry.

    When I said scenario I meant the ability for 4-5 to play together as per your original suggestion, of course I was not talking about the standard of football.

    AW has zero control over player selection once he is on loan, if there was a mathematical figure less than zero I would use that. Clubs and managers will have been selected based on their style of play as the primary reason for a loan is to allow a young person’s education to continue.

  15. Steve

    >You cannot send out loanees and expect guaranteed gametime,

    That’s normally part of the deal, a % of games are played.

  16. A bit picky, but Eisfeld is hardly a product of the Arsenal academy. He is, however, further proof that the fans should leave the signing of new players to Mr Wenger. Even he does not always get it right, but do so far more regularly than the sideline experts. Remember all the negativity surrounding Eisfeld’s arrival in the winter?

  17. i would imagine a team like say pompey, who have no money and no players, would jump at the chance to see 4-5 young guns walk through their door and play in their first team and help them out for a year..

    no that doesnt mean i want them to go to pompey, but you get the idea…

  18. YW / JonJon

    A young player on loan is only going to be picked if he applies himself correctly which you would of course assume (or hope) he does, but that is an intangible beyond the control of Arsenal and Wenger. Of course there will have been tentative discussions between the clubs but the manager at the club also has a duty of responsibility to his own players etc, he is not just going to pick a player because Arsenal have told him to.

    It benefits the kid and also in an ideal world the club to which he has been loaned to.

    To simply state that a player is “guaranteed” to play is quite simply wrong.

  19. I suppose the defence in these little friendlies has been a bit iffy, if one takes the games too seriously. Lovely pass for Kitchee’s first. I’m just so much more interested in the checking out the players overall. Really like the look of Aneke, he has something about him; and Miquel always impresses. Yennaris is an interesting player, on he small side, but very plucky. Gary and others are right about Eisfeld too; neat, efficient, confident.

  20. so hes just guarenteed to train then??

    whats the point in that? we are perfectly capable of training our own players..

    they go on loan to play, its the whole idea of the thing..

  21. Arsene Wenger seems to be more open talking about transfers these days. I’m completely surprised at the comments he made about Squillaci, Park and Bendtner

  22. Madrid is going to pay 35m for Modric ??

    fuck you Cesc

  23. Steve

    Your caveat is part of the contract, as is ours. It’s not wrong to state it.

  24. arsenalandrew

    Good write up YW.

    Puzzled that so many appear to attach so much to what are really only glorified training sessions. One can imagine why AW has been reticent to raise expectations in the past by doing these glamorously high profile tours abroad …

    With AW back town this could be a very interesting week on the transfer front. I’m confident AW is sincere in his intentions to get loose ends tied up – or removed as appropriate.

    Great to see the club apparently playing hardball re RVP; at the very least it sends out a message to those players who might in the future be considering their prospects in ways inconsistent with the club’s best interests and their own moral and legal obligations.

    And as for Robin himself, what next? It seems inconceivable that he would risk not signing a contract SOMEWHERE this summer. He is after all just one injury away from losing £millions. That he has so far failed to clarify which part of AFC’s ambitions he continues to find fault with, however, continues to dismay and disappoint.

    If he persists in pricing himself out of a move, as has been suggested, and AFC continue to acquire talent, as they appear to be striving to do, then it’s not inconceivable that RVP could be heading for quite a fall.

    His injury record fill few with confidence and there is a sense of a ‘new reality’ dawning over Manchester and West London as well as beyond. The days of clubs simply adding to their stash of talent appears to be numbered and the likes of RVP and even Adebayor could turn out to be the first ‘victims’ of this.

    I suspect few will weep for them or for the era that may have just passed.

  25. The state of the defence can be looked at in a number of different ways.

    * It is only a pre-season game with no consistant line up. What do you expect to happen?

    * Whilst a pre-season game, the lack or communication and organisation was alarming. Especially as this is not exactly a new problem.

    Personally I waiver between the two. The most concerning thing for me though, was again the shape of the team in general. Whilst it is easy to focus on the individuals in the back 4, the main problem (that I could see) was how stretched the team where without the ball and how easy it was for the opposition to “get at” the back 4.

    If the likes of RvP are concerned about our ability to challenge becasue we leak too many goals, watching pre-season will not exactly have him questioning his decision.

  26. Jeff

    How is that “fuck you Cesc”?

    Because Real are paying an over inflated price and we got shafted by Barcelona?

    I would of rather we’d received the market value 40+ million for Cesc with the spuds getting as little as possible for Modric?: the less money they have to re-build their midfield the better, surely?

    Re. AW’s openness about player sales, I agree with you about its somewhat surprising nature, but I also think it is blatantly obvious to all and sundry that they are on the market, so I’m guessing AW sees no point of being coy any longer.

    Usually managers try to stay tight lipped over players they deem surplus to requirements as this, for several obvious reasons, drives down the transfer price. However, with bot transfer kitty and squad numbers needed, I think we just need offload them to whichever clubs the players are willing to go to.

  27. it wasnt even a training camp..
    we spent most of it on a plane..

    pure and simple it was a money spinner..thats about the crust of it.. a playground kickabout in the middle of nowhere where theres loads of money..

    the real training starts when he gets them home and the fact hes talking about closed door games is a massive giveaway to how he feels this years ‘training camp’ has gone so far.

  28. Matt – Yup. But we did not get “shafted” by Barca. They made a bid and we accepted it. It is not as though they promised more and then didn’t come good with the cash. The Modric deal really puts it in perspective though eh?

  29. ‘you cannot send out loaness and expect guaranteed gametime’
    eh, NO you can’t JJ.
    its fully @ the loanee team’s discretion.

    i agree though the reserve league’s definitely not the same standard as the championship.

    Afobe to Owen Coyle sounds like a good idea.

  30. If one of our player goes to a lower division side, and cannot impress during trinaing enough to stake a decent claim to be starting, it is unlikely that they are going to make it with us anyway.

  31. aman
    no it isnt..

    theres clauses and conditions in loan deals…

    managers will have to come to AW and say ‘we are taking him on loan as cover’ or ‘we are taking him on loan to be in the first team’ and AW will decide which one he likes best and he’ll go with that club..

    unless its vela who moved to west brom via bolton.. 😉

    then you have clauses where player x will play a percentage of games and we will pay his wages..if player x fails to play then the terms of the laon deal have been broken and the club involved will either have to pay his wages or send him back

    you can put recall options in laon contracts, you can state whether they can still play in cup games or even play against the parent club if situation arises..

    so basically, yeah, you can send them out and guarantee them still draw up paperwork for loan deals and you can put whatever clauses you like in it..

  32. goonerady

    Don’t be so fucking picky ; )

    O.k, fair enough, we shafted ourselves and should have been stronger. The problem we had is that everyone, especially Barcelona, knew that Cesc was only interested in going to one place.

    That is the biggest reason I don’t feel the antipathy towards as some do (I know the reasons that people do, so I’m not looking for a debate about it!) but it’s also the reason Barcelona were able to get their 34.5 million “bargain”.

    Given the choice, I would much rather we received less money for our top players if they left to go abroad, than receive a fee inflated by a bidding war but from a Premier League rival.

    For me, there is a massive difference between how I feel about those who go to Italy or Spain and those who go down the M1.

  33. Cesc? Modric?
    quit crying over spilt milk…

  34. Matt – Yeah, I would agree with that. If RvP goes to Juventus, I will be much happier than if he goes to one of our rivals and we have to watch him banging them in during MotD every week.

  35. i cry when i want, i cry when i want

  36. Anyway, i really don’t understand why Giroud didn’t go for the Asia tour

  37. Heh, if we do sign Corzola it will be ironic (and massively Arsenal like).

    The defence is our downfall………Arsene ponders this……..1st game of the season……..completly new forward 3.

  38. Jeff – I believe he is too tall.

  39. England and France both exited at the same stage and OX and Walcott played more minutes than him, so why didn’t he go ??

  40. we’re selling him..
    anyone we left at home we’re selling…

    podolski too…

    and that other bloke..

  41. Maybe the club let him use the time to get moved to London.

  42. Aneke reminds me of JET who i thought was going to make it…
    Eisfeld’s poise is a huge plus
    Nico’s already shown what he can do
    Eastmond & Ignasi as well..

    Afobe though, really excites me..i love the way he moves
    a true goal poacher in the making…

    …oh. whats this: “Wenger hints @ Arshavin stay”,
    well, well, took his time didn’t he?

    just give him the keys to the AM turbojets and watch him bring home the bacon.
    an AA+TR+SC killer trio!!!!!

  43. goonerandy | July 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Yup. I always find it strange when our players go on loan down the divisions, often struggling to set them alight, then come back and we still hope that they might be able cut it with us because in our hearts we want to see our own kids come through and succeed.

    If they are really young, I can see how they might struggle in the rough and tumble of the Championship or League 1, with the loan acting to serve as more of a toughening up / reality check exercise. But when players are either approaching or over 20, it seems highly unlikely that that they will ever make it with us if they cannot shine at this level.

    The truth is very few players, albeit I’d imagine we have a better record than most, come through the academy and make a genuine impact on the first team – it’s all about unearthing the odd one or two every couple of years à la JW and Gibbs (I know he started at the dons, but he’s been with us since his been 14, so I think that counts).

  44. whats going on with sagna..?
    theres photos in the mail online that show him dancing in nigeria with bfg and podolski

    i dont see no crutches or cast..
    i thought he was fucked..

  45. This shows that we have a lot of work to be done to get ready for the season that starts in three weeks. Preseason isn’t a real good indicator of what will happen but the guys still have the same problems on the “D”. This needs to be addressed.

  46. No one dances in crutches in Nigeria JJ….Lagos is one of the grooviest cities on the planet.
    Do u not see the look on the german faces?

  47. lol aman.
    i seen the look on sagnas face eyeing up that dancer..

  48. he’s focused man….lol

  49. im optimistic he’ll be fit real soon going from those pics..
    could be a huge boost..

  50. “Forty million Nigerians profess to support the Gunners, said the event’s MC – quite simply an astonishing figure.”


  51. aman

    The Cesc talk is not a topic in isolation, it can be viewed in relation to our ability to remain resolute enough to keep our bottle, to hold it firm and upright, in order to prevent any more milk from being spilt and in turn not allowing our best talent to be creamed off of the top for a less than satisfactory price – as the dairy farmers will confirm, the milk prices on offer are currently too low.


  52. it was a pity the game was cancelled..
    all those nigerian gooners, we could have made their summer..

    still, its good of some of the boys to still go over and get involved in something at least..

    sagna seems to have enjoyed the experience anyway..

  53. Morning everyone and to our superstar blogger YW. In the midst of the blatant attempts to invent a crisis about our defending I recommend this piece at LadyArse titled “Tactical Leadership Wanted”. Link below.

  54. mgk,
    i get it but i’m tired of it.

    if Robin extends for 5 years but signs with the intention of returning to Feynoord for the last 2 yrs and the club accepts, how much do u think we’d sell him off for?

    its called a gentleman’s agreement…close to but not quite market value.

    we are the Arsenal NOT Spuds,
    i suggest u let it go…
    it WAS a special situation

  55. JJ did u catch the Spain-Honduras game ?

    if u did, why do u think Spain lost?

    ..just curious a la our talk yesterday

  56. Shotta – A good piece, and all true. Hopefully things will be different this year.

  57. aman
    probably because nobody was sat watching them so they had nobody to ohhh and ahhh at their tippy tap and not being the centre of attention and all, could have well put them off…

    i dunno mate, i didnt watch the game, olympic footballs not proper football anyway..

  58. afobe annec wont make it, too big too clumsy, they will see out their carears in championship, eisfield on the other hand thinks quickly and passes straight, slightly short of pace but that could change, he could well be the next freddy or the player that most, including myself thought ram might be but will not and end up at qpr, you cannot guarantee any play time, look at silva, so they had to move him mon, any one who thinks the loan team can dictate how much is played, well. am i the only one who has faith in our back four, well that is if he gets rid of the championship players like jenks and JD, miguel looks bigger stronger, he is going to be good in a couple of seasons, its the lack of disiplin from song that causes us the problems at the back and the innstance of playing a high back four, that only works when you close the ball down so that these school boy mistakes dont happen, we dont do that so get players behind the ball. the deal is done by the way for our new spanish aquisition, tricky and arsh are going too, you will all know about it on august 6th

  59. party pictures from lagos now on

  60. Aman

    Your hypothetical analogy of a 32 year old RvP returning back to Feyernoord on the cheap is not remotely close to the Cesc scenario.

    If he signed and stayed for another three years I would happily give him to back to Feynood for nothing for a well deserved swan song and thank him his loyal service. A just turned 24 year old world cup winner, captain and linchpin of the team on the other hand….meh

    The fact you are tired of talking about it however, I can understand, so we’ll leave it that.

    Right, off to work.

  61. damn boomer, talk about maximizing a post!

    ..where will you be on august 4th?

  62. mgk,
    lazy analogy from one with nothing left in the Cesc-transfer tank..
    thanks for getting it.

  63. yup boomer
    thats right
    we sent joel campbell, who needs a work permit, out on loan to guarantee a degree in french language and then to guarentee a spot of sunbathing in spain…


    the only thing thats not controllable is injury.. frimpong..

    we can dictate whatever the fuck we want in a loan contract..their our players…its our contract..

  64. off to work as well.. 😦

    but todays the day we sign carzola 😉

    happy monday…

  65. so much antagonism there JJ,
    boomer makes some interesting points….his opinions.

    like..i think Aneke’s clumsy too..
    ..Wellington proves “our” loan-control point…
    …Jenks+JD championship callibre cake doesn’t taste toooo bad…

    who’s Tricky?….Squilly maybe?…

    AA’s going nowhere….

    Song’s indiscipline during the Asia tour?…i don’t recall him being arrested for any rowdy behaviour u?

    ..and i hope we’ve really signed Carzola.

    Nice mixed bag of nuts by boomer is what i say…..

  66. FRom Wenger’s comments, I get the distincy impression he would rather not have to fly around the world on these money spinning marketing excercises. The preparation has been well disrupted and the next fortnight should be very busy.

    I think Giroud and Podolski will both be ready for the start of the season, despite what the manager says. IF we need them that is. I still think RvP could still stay. Which probably means he will leave this week! 🙂

  67. Isnt it a bit early to be hitting the Meths boomer?

  68. I hope Giroud and Podolski both figure in the game against Koln.

  69. corr: ..where will you be on august 6th?

  70. I also like that link Aman. Me gusta mucho!

  71. I’d expect em to Andy and any game before that, that we can manage to arrange.

  72. It looks like Arsene has been reading this blog and taken note of George & Aman’s devotion to the fat lazy Ruskie. But I also think he has read mine and JJ’s posts about how we have explained how best to utilise the allergic to hard graft and defending podgy Commie.

    Oh and playing him centrally too, he will definitely be used there.

  73. Dex – I hope so. I have my tickets for the game sorted.

  74. oh so pc Dex, u’re a shoo-in for a U.N. nomination!

  75. Boomer thanks for that insightful contribution – the benefits of being clairvoyant must be incalculable. I’m currently sorting out my gambling stakes for next season – can you please advise me as to how it will all unfold?

  76. Aneke is another reason Diaby will be keen to impress this season. The young lad is on the verge of breaking in. I wouldn’t mind both him and Afobe going to Bolton for a loan spell. The Championship is no picnic. But maybe we could hold onto them until January. Invariably our youngsters tend to get more chances early in the season when we have domestic cup games and the league has not yet entered the business end.

    As for the 2-2 draw; we fielded an experiemental attacking team first half, it’s clear we were looking for an open entertaining game. And I’m reliably informed it was. The Ox, Walcott and Ryo behind Chamack and with youngsters at full-back. It was never going to be a solid defensive performance and good job too. We’re out there to inspire and thrill.

  77. I tried my best to be PC there Aman, so glad my efforts didnt go unnoticed man, thanks.


    Hope it’s a good one for you mate. Could have at least 2 new players by then too.

  78. Dex – And the RvP situation will be clearer. If he is still here, there is no reason why he would not feature in the game. Unless he picks up an “injury” of course.

  79. Markus;

    The transfer window doesnt apply to the Championship I think? Or am I wrong there? I only ask because it could mean we could send out the likes of Afobe, Aneke, Miquel after September, just in case need them, or to give them a run out in the league cup.

  80. If Wenger has mentioned those three the deals must be pretty close to done and dusted.

    The way Poldi, Mert and Bac danced means they’re fit to start the season 🙂

    Crowd of 60,000 at the Birdsnest the other day. Who was it said something about the ‘middle of nowhere’? What’s the turnup for a pre-season at the Emirates? Also Kit Chee never played before such a large crowd before. Their stadium has a capacity of 3500.

  81. I wonder what the manager has planned for Eisfiled now? He definitely made his mark on the tour, with some eye catching cameos. He has an eye for goal, which is always handy in a midfielder.

  82. Markus,
    I’d worry about your “reliable informants” man,
    Ryo did not play against Kitchee.

  83. True Andy. Hopefully RvP and his advisers will hold further talks with the club and eettle things one way or the other.

    I am (naively) optimistic still.

  84. I liked Limpar Assists antagonism in the comments yesterday.

  85. I also thought that the title of yesterday’s post was almost as good as today’s.

  86. He did Aman.

  87. ” Who was it said something about the ‘middle of nowhere’?

    it was JonJon, the englisher…
    sock it to him good, red kangaroo.

  88. Hey Fins. What ya Sahin man?

  89. Aman – He did. He started the game.

    Dex – Yeah, me as well. And then changes his mind mid-season and signs a new contract.

  90. i have really high expectations for the coming season. I’m so bloody excited, only 3 weekends left.

  91. He did Dex?
    ..well i’m going to have to sack my informants immediately then..
    blind tossers!

  92. Amin, I know. I was just being polite.

  93. Dex, I’m not sure. But I have been dreaming of songs for Santi Cazorla.

  94. Sorry, Aman.

  95. But back to antagonism, I wouldn’t stress myself too much about the lack of games against The Austrian Farmers XI or The Viennese Orchestra’s part time Football team. Or games in the Emirates cup.
    Didn’t Little Jack pick up a ‘little’ knock there last season, Frimpong got Frimponged the season before? Meh to competitive pre-season friendlies. They’re going to get kicked by Sunderland. Best to save on the bruising. There’ll be plenty of it.

    Though I imagine the Koln players will be ‘up fer it’, so wearing my CM/Tony Poolis baseball hat I would suggest that it is best to play a reserve team there too! This suggestion can be as serious a suggestion as you like.

  96. Jeff,
    wait till you see Santi do a 1-2 with Arshavin, beat 2 then lay the perfect pass to Poldi, who feigns a dummy and backheels to Robin vasa Prosti.. who smacks the ball into the net via the keeper’s legs !!!

    …..full cream milk! (for those who still can make it)

  97. Shotgun quiz!

    Who will be our striker on the opening day of the season?

  98. s’all good, red & white kangaroo…

  99. True Finsbury. The players will get enough chances to be kicked in the air in our first 2 games of the season; Sunderland and Stoke.

  100. Lukas Podolski, ga

  101. That’s easy Andy;


  102. Finsbury, “The Austrian Farmers XI or The Viennese Orchestra’s part time Football team.” I presume you actually meant the the Manchester Shitphony Orchestra? the one that has Henry Mancini conducting, Sergio Aguero first violin, Carlos Tevez also conducting and Yaya Toure percussion?

  103. The reason I asked is that AW is saying that he wasnts to ease Podolski and Giroud into the season. RvP could be gone by then. Which would leave us with maybe Chamakh or possibley Gervihno starting through the middle.

    I reckon it will be RvP. If he leaves, I think Giroud will start there.

  104. Andy;

    IF RvP isnt here, I expect us to sign another striker man. I really don’t think Chamakh will be here either.

  105. Dex – Hmm, maybe. I don’t think we will sign another striker though. We only play with one, and I reckon Podolski and Giroud will cover that.

  106. Disappointingly, while Mert and Bac had numbers on their shirts in Nigeria, Podolski did not have TBC. Just a blank space 😦

    Also what’s with Wenger’s glasses? He left them on the bench for training in Beijing, but he has been wearing specs all tour. What happened to his contact lenses?

    (YW, I know this is not up to standard, but it has been a hard day).

  107. Maybe I am just being a bit greedy then Andy?

  108. Bendtner Squillaci and Park out the exit door but what about Fabianski who said he wasnt going to play 2nd fiddle to Szczesny,Chamakh who was all but gone a few weeks ago and AA23 whose Arsenal career is in tatters.Are we going to keep them on the payroll with the chances of them starting vitually nil

  109. not to me you’re not Dex,
    if we lose Robin, i expect we will sign another striker.
    i’m placing my bet on Giuseppe Rossi…as i’ve stated all summer post Rodallega.

  110. Christ, Martin you really do have a penchant for melodrama. Too many tabloids methinks.

    Aman, I will inform my sources of your sincerest apologies as to questioning their information. Wait…

  111. i could send a small fruit basket Markus, just need an address…

  112. I agree with everybody.

  113. Poor ol martin, his life must be like a sopa opera, one disastrer after another. Arshavin is quality, I hope we keep him.

  114. George’ll be very proud of you Dex,
    ….mucho #23 love

  115. from the Honduras-Spain game
    i got to see Adrian Lopez in action…
    he is really a spanish Berbatov, a budding genius.
    never forced the issue unlike his team mates
    hence their loss, methinks…..(they played like Athletic Bilbao not Barca)

    Muniain should have been red-carded for bumping the ref twice..
    Mata was very good but missed some great chances

    Lopez’d look great in purple too

  116. I noted a while back that with the Olympics in London this year, and thus Arsenal not aloud to hold the Emp Cup that we look short on Friendlies. I get that Arsenal are looking to increase their profile overseas and thus increase their potential revenue streams but it has left us short on the team building side. The business to acquire Podolski and Grioud was shrewed but to then not have them play any friendlies to date with 1 to play (not including the closed door against the reserves) seems a little short sighted.

    Doing business early should be a boom for the squad, allowing time to gel as a unit but in this case it hasn’t proved that way at all.

    I understand friendlies, they are not as competive etc but our defending which was not gtreat last term hasn’t proven any better on tour. It is fine to add a caveat about having not used our best 4 defenders yet but shouldn’t the question be “why not?”.

  117. Chamakh really did look shocking once again. He always runs about with a worried look on his face, runs into an area with no space and points to his feet. When someone actually does pass to his feet, he doesn’t do anything. Out to feck!
    We’re going to win the league!

  118. Markus

    Fabianski played no league games Chamakh started one AA23 less than 10.Is it too much to say the chances of that changing next season is slim.

  119. Martin, with the window open perhaps it is a bit much. We’ll just have to see who comes and gos in the mean time I suppose. As for the melodrama I was referring more to the claims of Chamakh being all but gone and Arshavin’s Arsenal career in tatters. The last quote I saw from Chamakh was very positive and Arshavin’s career is only in tatters on the internet. He might go for a big payday alright but if he doesn’t he’ll still get in the team.

  120. Another nice post yogi:

    The game yesterday was entertaining but means very little. As you know I have the same concerns about our team defense but I have made that point a couple of times in the past. The article that shotta linked @ 10:58 was interesting and makes a lot of the points that I have tried to make for several seasons. Hopefully this season we will give more then just lip service to improving our organization and positioning. The leadership that she talks about needs to come from the top. I believe the players we have had over the years have always been smart and talented enough to do what they are told and do it well (gallas excepted). If not then they shouldn’t be playing for us. This could have been fixed long ago if fixing it had been made a priority.

    Nice to hear that we will be moving some players out, that was needed long ago. Hope we get cazorla soon and deal with the RVP thing. Going to be a tough season this year and a long fight for the top 4 looms. Hopefully we can keep this group of players together because as jack and Ox mature and all these new additions come together we are looking at a potential title challenging team in a couple years (If we can fix the defense.)

  121. Arshavin’s Arsenal career is not in tatters. Only a myopic simpleton would suggest that. He went on loan last season as he wanted to play more to make sure of his international place for the Euros.

    He might well leave, but AW has stated already that he could havg around. I for one think that’s a good idea.

    I posted yesterday what I felt we could do with him; use him sparingly, keep him fresh and play him in a more central, less defensively arduous role. I would still expect him to put in a shift, but he wouldn’t need to tracxk back so much in a central position. The fact we are without players who can add a creative spark, keeping Arshavin makes sense to me.

    His last involvement for us that i remember was setting up TH14 for the winner against Sunderland. I’d love him to finish his Arsenal career on a high next season.

  122. A very strange situation with our four (or even five) existing strikers all potentially leaving and our two new lads not ready for the start of the season.

    Not sure Vela has signed for another club yet, but it is fairly close if he hasn’t. I must admit I am happy to see Bendtner go as he has always talked a better game than he’s actually played. Yes I remember the header against Spurs, but I also remember the touch of a rapist against Barcelona.

    The whole situation with Park has proved to be a puzzle, he scores regularly for his country (he did again at the weekend) but just hasn’t turned it on at all for Arsenal. He hasn’t really had much of a chance, but the chances he has had have been disappointing. Now AW seems to be making it clear that he is surplus to requirements, perhaps he has seen something in training which makes him feel its not going to work for Park at Arsenal. Didn’t Lille want to buy him before? Maybe we should let them have him now.

    Chamakh worries me, I know he hasn’t really had much of a look in whilst RVP has been fit, but when he does play his confidence looks shot. He seems to be out of position a lot of the time, or just not sharp enough when the ball comes in to him. I would have thought that the RVP situation should be his chance to stake a claim again, so why does he still look so uninterested?

    No point me commenting again on RVP, its all been said before.

    So if our new lads are not ready and RVP is off, who are we going to hang on to just to provide cover until the newbies are match fit?

  123. ooh Dexter……!

  124. Dex – AW always plays a midfielder in the central role, so unless he alter that tactic we won’t be seeing AA there anytime soon. Plus, if you think of that players we have used there (Rosicky/Ramsey) the player nearly always puts a huge shift in. AA would not offer us that.

    I hope we keep him though as he is a very talented player when he can be arsed.

  125. ““Forty million Nigerians profess to support the Gunners, said the event’s MC – quite simply an astonishing figure.””

    Thank you Kanu!!
    If only we’d bought Kagawa. We’d have 40 million richer Japanese loving us if Ryo matures in to a great player. Kagawa would have paid for himself in shirt sales. We’d have our creative MF

  126. Not enough friendlies.
    Too many footballers. At a football club.
    Too many scouts. Not enough agents who like to get down with the nitty gr*tty.

    What has happened to my beloved Arsenal?

  127. I have always expected AA to leave on the basis that when an established experienced footballer is allowed to leave on loan then he is quite simply no longer in the manager’s plans. Remember at the time he was allowed to walk away we weren’t exactly covering ourselves in glory yet this top talent was deemed dispensable.

    I don’t for one second think the club will have been so generous as to release him in February to allow him to get fit for the Euros (as was previously suggested on here). That may have been AA’s thoughts, from an Arsenal perspective Wenger simply did not think he could or would offer much between then and the end of the season.

    Now given the protracted absence of certain players, which in turn is feeding to the stories regarding Cazorla and to a lesser extent Sahin, plus the fact that with just 2 days to go young Walcott has still not seen fit to renew his contract, then a fully focused Arshavin could well play a role next season.

    I suspect his future is going to be dictated on the basis of 1-2 of the players just mentioned.

    There is also the fact that in order to sell a player there has to be a club which appeals to the player to join. Fulham my bollocks.

  128. Steve – I think that sums up the whole AA situation nicely.

  129. Vela’s long gone Wavey, since the 19th….where’ve u been man?'s-carlos-vela-agrees-real-sociedad-switch?cc=3888

    Chamakh will be gone soon…

    Park’s suitors are unknown for now but i expect we’ll know more after the olympics BUT he’s defiinitely being shopped..and should be sold

    if we get the AM position properly filled anyone can score for us.
    I don’t see how hard its going to be for Poldi and OG to score in double digits..
    c’mon neither of them’s a Theo or 3Gs.
    …they are EU-validated prolifics.

  130. Red Kamgaroo
    I’d always imagined Tevez as a solo violinist. Tearing your eyes out to his songs of woe and strife. An epic and sad violin improvisation to the following ‘beat’ haiku:

    ‘The restaurants are shit,
    For Rusholme I am too rich,
    The weather,
    It drips drips drips’

  131. dexter

    sadly it appears you fail to grasp the major issues to our very poor defensive record in recent years.

    we need better collective pressure from our attackers and midfielders. go watch teams who defend much better than us whilst playing with a high line. we can’t carry andrei . he is also our second highest earner we can’t afford such wastage .

    the club can’t afford to collect all these guys we desperately need to rid ourselves of them but unfortunately we paid them far more than market rate.

    its a tough one but slowly we will understand that squad positions need to be taken by truly homegrown players as you can pay them less which allows room to pay star players market rate rate

  132. Steve, it was a risk to allow Arshavin to go on loan. We were short in numbers. I reckon it was a risk the Boss wouldn’t have taken had it not been for the player himself pushing for it. He wanted to get fit for the Euros. I don’t think Arsene pushed for the deal. We could definitely have done with him against AC Milan second leg.

  133. Has Arshavin played much or any role in the recent PR exercise / tour?

    I must admit to having paid zero attention to the whole thing.

  134. Markus – I agree that the player pushed for it, but it was AW’s willingness to let him go which is telling. Especially at a point when there was no hope of getting a replacement in.

  135. bobbyp,
    but Andrei can carry us..sometimes, don’t ya think?

    ” far more than market rate”….i see u forgot to check the going rate for russia’s golden boy/ captain playing @ a top russian team like Zenith St.P?

    AA was NEVER going cheaper than what we got him for…
    he could have made more in Russia.

    “squad positions need to be taken by truly homegrown players as you can pay them less which allows room to pay star players market rate rate”

    we tried that once, he was in court the other day backing up his oligarch’s captain.

    but YES,
    “we do need better collective pressure from our attackers and midfielders”..
    . AA in the middle would defend much better than on the wings..

    Dex addressed that already

  136. So apparently this was news today:
    Robin van persie does not want to join the same club as Adebayor. Newsflash! Ta Daaa!
    Shocking news. Never saw that one coming (check he archives from a few months ago).
    Crap. Taking all of this into consideration, well, it seems as of AFC are not in such a piss poor position as popular mythology would have you believe. Indeed, the cheeky muppets have been preparing this ‘hand’ since, oh, since about he time of the friendly with Koln last season.
    Whilst some chose to worry themselves silly over the lack of back ups for robin in the autumn, the club was busy preparing for the summer haggle (‘bring in Poldi and Jiroo, mwah hah hah. Hah.’) and right now I wouldn’t like to say who has the stronger hand.
    One thing is for sure, as said by the manager himself. It’s not even close to how difficult the situation was this time last year.

  137. “He went on loan last season as he wanted to play more to make sure of his international place for the Euros.”

    Players can’t just take off and loan themselves out to other clubs for purely selfish reasons. Clearly Wenger wanted him to do this too. And that he did this when we needed him the most is rather puzzling. Rosicky had yet to impose himself, Jack and Diaby were out, and we were in grave danger of missing the CL spot at that time. To my mind AW saw that there was no place for him on his squad and the best thing for Arsenal was to let him go and play himself in to shape in the hopes he’d have a great EURO. This seemed the only way we’d get any money for him.
    There’s no place on the team for AA. Even less so with the emergence of the Ox and arrival of Podolski. That doesn’t mean he’s history. We still have to find a taker for him. An agent admitting they are looking for a final big pay day may be refreshingly honest to some but it is also damningly honest to others. Damned if there’s a lot of clubs that will want to take a punt on a 31 year old midfielder who is perpetually out of shape and who admits he’s looking for a last big contract. Football is a young man’s sport and in these tough economic times the number of teams that can afford Arshavin and who are willing to risk offering a contract to him are slim. His past 2 years are anything but inspiring to anyone looking for a committed midfielder.
    It is possible he stays but only because there are no takers for his salary. If not then AA will be happy to mope around the Emirates once a month and earn his big pay packet. If he does I hope Wenger can find a different more engaging role for him. He’s a damn good player but I doubt Wenger will transform the team and style of play just to accommodate someone who doesn’t backtrack often enough and whose stamina precludes him from playing more than 60 minutes.

  138. Jeeez some people.

    Arshavin is a top talent. Keeping him for one more season won’t bankrupt us,

    Of course Andrei CAN put a shift in, like he has done for us. Sure it was a while back now, but still! 🙂

    If you actually read my post bobbyP, you would see I have stated keeping him and using him sparingly, thus meaning he isnt constantly knackered. Playing him in a more central position (fuck off Andy BTW! 🙂 ) would lighten his defensive responsibilities that he had on the wings, NOT increase it.

    You fail to grasp the basics man.

    You need to up your workrate, far too lazy I think.

  139. AW allowing AA to return was a wise risk that paid off for both parties.

    we came 3rd, he won a league title and carried that “confidence” into the euros where he outperformed every other gunner on show without getting out of the group phase!!

    AA’s intention was always to come back to Arsenal withthe hope that off of the euros AW would play him where he rocks da best at.

    Jack’s still out, AD2’s tentatively recovering, London 2012’s in the way, we signed 2 veterans, lil Mozart’s crocked till ?, Rambo’s not ready yet..our “loyal” captain wants to f**k off….

    ….this “fresh” situation needs to be solved flexibly,
    Arsene knows this, AA’s ready if called upon…
    he knows the system, he know how ta run tings..we already pay him
    even if we add Santi, he’d take a while to bed in….

    ok…..i’m tired.
    I’ll do the boomer.
    …Aug 6’s d-day…BE THERE!

  140. I think it was very risky allowing AA to go back to Russia last season. There were more than a few games when we could have done with his guile; QPR away springs to mind.

    He would have to demonstrate a desire and hunger as well as workrate, but I think being more of a bit part player would benefit hhim and us in that respect.

  141. Diaby should get a run of games as our advanced midfiedler with Rosicky and Wilshere being injured. With Arteta and Song sat behind him it could be very effective I reckon.

    If we do keep RvP for the season, a Podolski/RvP/Walcott (Carzola?) forward three is as good as any forward line in the lge.

  142. I cant believe arsene would send a player on loan and leave the club short and hurt the entire team just because he was concerned about the players involvement in the euro’s. Yogi has said that many times. I still think the loan was motivated by andrei’s wages. He was the highest or second highest paid player in the squad and was not playing. He was not in the bosses plans for the rest of the season and sending him to Russia was a perfect way to trim the wage bill without affecting the plans for the rest of last season.

  143. Dunno Bill? Obviously Wenger felt he wasn’t weakening us by loaning him out. He wasn’t playing much though was he? I think we could have done with him, but maybe he was bitching about playing more and more? Who knows?


    That midfield 3 works for me, bring on Arshavin after an hour when we are 3 nill up and everyone’s happy! 🙂

    Cazorla can also play as the most advanced midfielder too. Jeeez, I do hope we sign that fucker! 🙂

  144. What’s August 6th all about, please?

  145. Philmar,
    “And that he did this when we needed him the most is rather puzzling”

    …we did not need him. he was rotting away on the bench.
    Robin was scoring from everywhere, we’d finally found some chemistry. AA’s riskiness could not be accommodated considering how shitty we started the season.
    Rambo was putting in effort AND Jack & Diaby were expected back!

    if he leaves…i think its daft but so be it

    if not, i will NOT be taking ANY apologies.

  146. aman

    no you see lets try and get away from relying on individual brilliance to save us.

    if we defend better we will concede less and score more its quite simple.

    we must be better in possession, living the ball away cheaply is cancer to a team playing a high line. Andrei important afraid plays to many low percentage passes.

    if we win the ball back up the pitch the opposition can’t park the bus look at our first goal yesterday, meaning we will get a better standard of chance.

    i meant some of our players in general. some of you talk of our wage bill bit the fact is its obvious we have squad players on huge wages as how many have we shifted so far? its allot like city in terms of wastage only we can’t afford to do it. if its stopping us signing cazorla as Jamie sanderson thinks it is it once again points to our poor wage structure harming our improvement poor

  147. If we sign Carzola and managed to retain RvP (even if for only a season) and Walcott we really will be set to mount a challenge IMO. We will be spoilt for choice in the midfield and forward areas.

  148. mgk,
    re: boomer @11:14am for ze answer

  149. Jamie Sanderson? You are desperate relying on a kid with a laptop to back up your baseless claims.

  150. Am I missing something about the necessity to “ease” Giroud in ?

    Olivier is a big ugly centre forward with 120-130 first team games behind him including his title winning season with Montpelier last year.

    He barely broke sweat in the Euros over the Summer so he is hardly tired out.

    What exactly is to “ease” in ?

    Let the bloke loose and let him stick it right up the Black Cats imo

    I wonder about Arsene some times – is he one of those shoppers who gets the garment home, tries it on and changes his mind ? It looked SO different in the shop.

    Ask Park

  151. Agreed Andy. Would be an amazing array of talent.

  152. I wonder about you anicoll. Your posts are very hit and miss to say the least.

  153. As it stands there are good reasons to keep both AA and RVP until January. Perhaps that will change in the next couple of weeks if we do bring in other players, but even then there is a bedding-in period in which you would prefer to have experienced players to fall back on. If Rosicky were fit for the start of the season perhaps there would be less need for AA to still be on Arsenal’s books (although I would still want to keep him). Nobody (except RVP) is questioning the club’s ambition in the signings we have made so far, but if we lose experienced players at the same time we are going to start the season worse off. Not suggesting we are going to start like last season, but it is easy to drop a few points early on – games like Sunderland at home are never easy.

  154. Arsene is talking about easing Giroud and Podolski into the running, but the group now have 2 weeks worth of uninturrupted training. I am sure he will make a better assesment then after watching them train. I would not be surprised to see at least one of them in the starting line up against Sunderland. Especially if RvP leaves before then.

  155. Walcott can’t afford to leave us. He’d be found out.

    If Robin stays and we purple double, he’ll not leave us for an EPL team if he still opts out.
    I’d give him back 80% of my “fan love” at least & wish him well.

  156. dexter

    no you see you still don’t get it.

    you see many of those people who you would call a doomer just think the club can be run better. that means top level contracts for top level consistent performers. Andrei isn’t that his 4 million or so wages are a burden and could be spent on someone more deserving like our captain. correct me if i wrong but isn’t it you and some others who say we can’t pay market rate for world class players . well we can if we stopped wasting millions on undeserving players.

    with regards to defence you still can’t grasp it. our defence is abysmal as we are incapable of applying collective pressure on a consistent basis. go back and watch our best performances last year city, Milan, spurs go look how the midfield and attack apply themselves defensivly . we need that on a consistent basis unfortunately Andrei cant do this. bye bye amdrei bye

  157. Gillingham have been ‘done’ for racial victimisation of a player;

    TBH, I aint surprised.

  158. Fuck off jibber.

  159. Aman – “Walcott can’t afford to leave us. He’d be found out”


    He would not get into the other top teams (Manure/M City/Chelsea), so would have to take a step down. And he has had the most patient manager he could ask for in Arsene who kept playing him despite some horrendous games. In his case, the grass certainbly would not be greener.

  160. Bill. Honestly, why not just believe Wenger, it’s so much easier than wondering. He was crystal clear. AA went to Russia on loan to recapture some form; more specifically that it was very hard for AA to regain his confidence with a few minutes here and there, he needed games. Wages may have been a minor consideration but not mentioned.

    I think AA is with us for this season. That would be typical. Wenger does like having a few older players around his set-up to lend maturity and in AA’s case maybe with specific purposes. Then again he’s not exactly difficult player to offload, Mid East, China, USA etc

  161. Probably best all round to just accept his career at Arsenal has ultimately been a disappointment. Not because he is a poor player but because we all know how good he COULD have possibly been.

    A player of his calibre, second highest earner at the club apparently and close to being one of our record signings should really be one of ‘the first names on the teamsheet’ as the cliché goes, as it stands he was allowed to walk away from the club in order to get fit to play for a different team apparently.

    How generous we are as a club. How generous of Arsene.

    A high profile signing which caused massive excitement among support and no small amount of expectations, a player who shone very brightly but in the end almost seemed to decide that Arsenal and perhaps the Premiership wasn’t for him. Like a smaller, cuter and chubbier Russian version of Reyes.

    That’s not to say there isn’t a class act in there, he is of course, when he can be bothered. Just happens that sometimes in football transfers don’t work out.

    Given what he costs us I don’t think Dexter’s suggestion about him becoming a bit-part player is really on. I would rather pay his wage to Cazorla (as an example) and hopefully get more than a bit.

  162. Dex

    The wage issue made loaning him out a win/win for both the player and the club. You dont loan someone, especially with his experience unless there is something to gain for the club. The other possibility is that we hoped he would play well enough to make him attractive to a long term buyer.

  163. anicoll,
    i think Samri & Cesc shook AW so, he tried on the Park pants with suspenders!

  164. I do get it j*bber. Thanks

    How can the defence be abysmal one minute, then brilliant the next? You can’t have it both ways man. The defence looked better with a more disciplined midfield, shielding the back 4 as well as applying pressure further up the field.

    It would be delightful if the players could put that amount of effort in every game.

    But to call the defence ‘abysmal’ is precisely what a doomer would say. So fuck off you doomer. 🙂

    Again, j*bber you use terms like market rate. We have (allegedly) offered RvP the best deal in our history. If that isnt enough for him, then he can go. Looks like it is all about money with him (or his advisers), even though in that statement he maintained figures aint even been discussed. So, you, nor I can accurately say one way or the other.

    I’ve already given my take on what I would offer him, it’s an obscene amount, but not as much as the reported city inflated figure of £250k a week.

    I would keep Arshavin, he is a talented player. And again, because you need things spoon fed to you, I have stated caveats to him staying. i aint in love with him, like george and Aman.

  165. Steve

    You are probably right. But you need to have a heart like a piece of coal to talk in the terms that you do man.

    It would be a shame if Arshavin just left with a whimper like that. I think if we shifted a few other players on, keeping him would be a little easier to take for some.

  166. Yup.. 40 million Nigerians nd I am one of dem… Aw ya’ll doin.. Regular reader bt rarely comments… @Aman aw do u knw Lagos so well lol…

  167. BTW j*bber;

    £250k is NOT the market rate. It is the Oil city inflated amount. It in no way means that players at any other club should feel they ‘deserve’ that figure.

  168. Dex

    It is quite amusing though that RVP wants a rate that even Oil city aren’t willing to pay. So Manure seem to be willing to stump up the wages, but not stump up the cash to buy the player.

  169. Bill;

    Maybe the manager wanted to sell Arshavin, but no one came in for him, or offered the amount we were after? Or maybe he wasn’t getting in the team and got the hump and demanded a loan back to mother Russia.

    As ZP says, why bother wondering?

    If we signed Cazorla and Arshavin left the club, I think i could just about live with that man. 🙂

  170. It is the funniest thing, at the time you could spot a doomer by how they drooled all over AA coz AW had spent some money on a “name”. Wiser heads advised caution, pointing out that some of the unheralded players might be even better. Fast forward, and the doomer brigade yelps “sell, sell for god’s sake sell ‘im!!!” and wiser heads advise caution, pointing out that AA could be useful and not as poor as they think.

  171. Wavey;

    Obviously depending on what are the actual facts, it would look as though RvP’s advisers have let their greeeeed get the better of them. Or failed to fully appreciate the fact that no club, not even Oil City are prepared to make such a financial commitment on a player who has spent a third of his 8 year career at Arsenal in the treatment room.

    And I am glad about that and hope it stays like it.

  172. Dex

    I have said before that I have little or no huge amount of emotional investment with any players anymore, I just don’t see the point as you get a situation like this summer’s where the player just kicks it back in your face. I can very easily talk in the terms I do pre-season or at any time outside the 90 minutes of a game. I can easily do it when discussing Arsenal with fellow supporters, I will argue like fuck with the supporter of an opposition side but with us I will call a spade a spade.

    That’s not the same as saying I don’t think they’re all fantastically talented footballers, they all are. That’s not to say I don’t like certain players as footballers more than I do others, I have always had a soft spot for midfield players, I could watch a player like Arteta all day. I am one of the increasing few who sees a brilliant player in Ramsey and can’t wait to see that develop. He’s still only a kid ffs, the abuse he gets is a disgrace while others (AA for example) some people are falling over themselves to defend.

    I’m too long in the tooth for adulation. You won’t find me buying the new home shirt and putting a player’s name and number on it. You won’t find me buying the home shirt at all but that’s just me. I buy them for my kid, he loves Theo and Chamberlain

  173. who’s J*bber Dex?…i missed that

    @Crowne, u could ask me about London or NYC too, lol…

  174. Cazorla would be the long term replacement for lil Mozart, don’t you think? AA will likely remain, perhaps until Jan window. Of course, it may sometimes take a little while for any player to find his tempo and pattern of play with a whole bunch of new teammates, so AW is cautious with Lukas and Olivier. Surely common sense?

  175. Steve;

    Yeah, I know man. I did mean to put a lil smiley face after the heart like coal remark though! 🙂 Like that one.

  176. ZP @ 4:17…..wisdom

  177. dexter

    our defence was 8th in the league last year. factor in how long the opposition have the ball against us it very easy to suggest that our min per goal conceded when not in possession is easily one of the worst in the league and has been for years. it doesn’t take the opposition long to score against us…….deal with it

    if we can’t apply the basic principals of having a high line then we shouldn’t use the tactic or we should build a squad capable of doing it. very simple really.

    one thing is clear from pre season Ian that we still don’t know how to apply collective pressure. the scary thing is that our youngsters have been playing this same system since the age of 14.

  178. I agree Steve. Espeically about Ramsey and Arteta man.

  179. Zimpaul

    I am sure Arsene was hoping AA could regain his form. Will be interesting to see if he stays or goes back to Russia. Hopefully he will prove all the naysayers wrong and have a bounce back year. Him playing at or near his best could be a real difference maker for us.

  180. ZP @ 4:23…surely common sense?

  181. Only a doomer like j*bber would be sooooo depressed before the start of a season.

    Looks like you have a lot of issues to deal with there mate.

  182. dexter

    the market rate is the market rate. would you work for 40% less than what you should. we have a flawed structure. if aoc hits messi levels this year do we sell or do we find a way to pay the guy what he is worth.

  183. Dex @ 4:17


  184. is bobbyp THE ONE Dex?

  185. Arsenal conceded 26 goals in the 28 games Arteta played, even with the multitude of defenders coming in, behind him. I expect an improvement on that as I do overall, defensively.

  186. Yes Aman. Can’t you tell?

  187. “if aoc hits messi levels this year…???
    whoah, steady on pardner…

    “ we sell or do we find a way to pay the guy what he is worth?”
    we wait for him to do it again and again before we alter his salary…with him under contract, we have the power

    re: Adebayor…

  188. No the market rate is NOT trying to match what a club with unlimited funds can offer.

    THAT is a recipe for disaster.

    Only an idiot would sanction following that route. Oh wait…

  189. “Hit and Miss” Dexter ?

    Pokes out bottom lip

    I think Arsene sometimes might swathe his charges a little too tightly when what they need to release is the animal inside them

    And looking at Giroud he looks plenty animal – a good savaging of Sunlun at the greensward of the Emir by Olivier would do him a lot more good that “easing” him in

    Would not do me any harm either

    Might even shut the meeja up for two seconds on the RvP story

  190. pedantic george

    Dexter and Aman know what they are talking about.
    bobbyp is not so sharp.

  191. The bizarre thing about Park was how we stole him from under the noses of Lille Aman

    WHY ?

  192. needed to know without a doubt Dex….wow,
    such a masochist.
    i fkg dig this new moniker though…pretty fresh

  193. anicoll5;

    Hahaha! I was teasing, just messing with you man! 🙂

  194. Ivan the Yank was screaming for inroads to the largest market, anicoll5,
    Park scores all day, played for Monaco.. twas a no-brainer

  195. Dex Zimpau:

    “As ZP says, why bother wondering?”

    Whats the point of a sports blog if we can’t wonder about stuff like this? It’s what we do here everyday.

  196. Were we the 3rd best team in the EPL last year or not? Have we been out of the top-four any time in the past 15 years?
    This doom-mongering has me very confused. about whether I am on a LFC or AFC blog. Over to you YW.

  197. Bill;

    Sorry, but you already agreed with that post! You can’t go back and change your mind man. It isnt allowed dude!


    There’s nothing to get confused about, j*bber has slivvered back, yet again.

  198. “good” old j*bber…
    can’t help but appreciate the effort though…
    (sigh) wish hunter had the same gusto

  199. Aman

    He does, oh he does.

  200. Well, if we have to suffer the ultra depressingly monotonous droning of j*bber, you should, in theory anyway, let in his alter ego Yogi.

  201. Dex

    So who’s Jabber then?

  202. Dex

    You could be wrong in identifying the poster which dare not speak its name. Remember the school holidays have started. Could be his slightly younger brother.

  203. And if it upsets you, don’t talk to him.

  204. I was merely putting in a case for Aman’s friend to return Yogi. And I didn’t know it was him straight away, took 2 posts this time. I am slipping.


    That’s wishful thinking on your part man. 🙂

  205. pedantic george

    Dexter could be wrong,But I doubt it

  206. Dex: @ 4:57

    I deserved that! 🙂

    I do agree with everything else in that specific post.

    I agree that Arteta is an excellent player and one of Arsene’s best buys for a long time but, if we are dependent on Arteta and we fall apart without him then I hope he stays healthy. Fitness has not been strong suit over his career.

    TBH I agree that we will defend better this year but we have a long way to go and I suspect it will take a couple of years to really change the culture and mindset and defensive IQ of the team as a whole. We have really good players in the back now and hopefully we can keep them together and make steady improvement for the next couple of years with regards to how many we concede. Wojo has a lot of potential but he has to be much more consistent which takes time. Jack has to get healthy and keep improving which is not a given but I think Ox is going to be our next superstar by 2014 and hopefully Theo with stick around and continue to improve and Aaron will bounce back and either Podolski or Giroud will turn out to be reasonable replacements for RVP. A lot of ifs and hopes but the future could be very bright 2 – 3 years from now if all goes well.

  207. Shotta @ 4.53

    finsbury | July 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    Not enough friendlies.
    Too many footballers (on the payroll. Mostly teenagers, but shush! We don’t want to upset anyone) at a football club.
    Too many scouts (on the payroll). Not enough agents (on the payroll) who like to get down with the nitty gr*tty.

    What has happened to my beloved Arsenal?

  208. arsenalandrew

    Bill – I think the future will be very bright 2 – 3 weeks from now.

  209. Bill;

    I think we have players who can do a similar job to Arteta, while Song is an awesome DM. However, I think there was an onus on him to create chances because we didnt have a creative hub in midfield. That is why i am so excited about the prosepct of signing Cazorla.

    It will mean that the likes of Song, Arteta, Coquelin, Ramsey, Diaby and Jack can play deeper when required.

    Anyway, that’s how i envisage it. I do expect the team to be better defensively all over the pitch. With both winders/wide players putting in defensive shifts. Theo has improved that side of his game.

  210. Yaya Toure left barca because Oil City offered him ridiculous money that Barca refused to match. Are barca unambitious?

    No, they just realise they can’t compete financially with Oil city. Nor can we and nor should we attempt to.

  211. George;

    I would love to be wrong man.

  212. arsenalandrew

    The absence of a denial is a bit of a giveaway Dex.

  213. pedantic george

    T’was the same last time Andrew.

  214. arsenalandrew

    Leopards and spots, George.

  215. he does YW?…why, i’m proud of him…he @ least knows quality (aclf)

    ..Dex, Barca also had Biscuits who’s come in and done the job @ a “cheaper rate” some’ve said.

    Oil Shitty SUCKS!

  216. Limestonegunner

    Yaya Toure has also become a better player by starting more, not being so constrained by Barca’s system and its leaders, and taking on a leadership position himself. So, it was also ambition on his part. Barca decided that for the more limited role and team harmony, they could sacrifice Yaya on such high wage demands and replace him with Busquets. Toure doesn’t play the same role at City and Busquets would not have led City to an FA cup or title, the way Toure has, do you think?

    So I don’t think this is a great analogy because with RvP, he was a leader and was fulfilling his potential. If he leaves it is either for money and because we can’t/won’t get close or because he doesn’t see us winning anything soon enough for him. On that latter point, I think he is wrong. I agree with Andy above–adding Podolski, Giroud, and Cazorla while keeping him and Theo would, in my worthless opinion, give us the wherewithal to challenge, particularly if we see some improvement defensively/tactically.

    Last season was so disrupted at the start and by odd longterm fullback injuries that I feel there is every real chance to do better than last season.

  217. J.Gusby P……for president……….

  218. ……of LeGrove!

  219. Dex:

    I also like the idea of Cazorla but as I understand he has played all across the MF, more as a wide player. Going to take some time for him to adapt to the PL and learn how to be our creative CAM. Song was our most creative player in the preseason games and thats not going to change quickly. I think we can keep our CL spot next season and I expect we will struggle early but get better as the year goes on. To many question marks to really expect a title challenge next season me thinks but hopefully we will get the whole wage structure figured out and stop hemorrhaging our best and we should be a real force in the league and CL in a couple of seasons.

  220. pedantic george

    Ha HA fucking HA .Leaving Barca to go to City was “ambition” from Yaya.
    Ok LSG the biscuit is officially yours.

  221. LSG;

    Of course it’s a great analogy. I thought of it. 🙂

    Yaya Toure was immense for barca, but his creative talents were not as obvious at Barca due to the likes of Xavi, messi et al. However, he was primarily seen/used as a DM and therefore there was no way he was ever going to be offered the sort of wages (reputed to be close to £230k a week) at Barca.

    He left, pure and simple for the money. he was made an offer he could not refuse.

  222. arsenalandrew

    LimestoneG – Given that there is a general consensus behind the idea that YaYa T has improved since leaving Barca, I wonder how Fabregas feels about his club game right now?

  223. Cazorla played mostly as a CAM Bill. Even DM! last season. The fact he can also operate on either flank meakes him a very attractive player.

    There’s nomreason why he, Podolski or Giroud cannot hit the ground running.

    I predict Podolski to score vs Sunderland and Giroud to head the winner vs Stoke.

  224. But there’s no doubting he is far more important to City than he was deemed at barca LSG.

  225. Dex @ 6:25:

    I hope you are right. If we do keep RVP and he continues to score goals we have a chance to surprise everyone. (with the caveat that we cut down our goals concede by about 16 – 18 which is a huge ask for one season). If RVP leaves, then we are starting the season with 3 new players in our first choice front 4 who have no PL experience and never played together and its a lot to hope that they all hit ground running and “gel” fast enough to keep us in a title race. However, stranger things have happened. Hope springs eternal in preseason.

  226. LSG: Levert Gill Sweat, was an urban R&B supergroup…

    I prefer LimestoneG

  227. Bill u really need to check out Santi Carzola on youtube.
    The least it’ll leave you @ is half-mast.

  228. he’s quite a player.

  229. pedantic george

    Bill.why 4? They dont all have to start .
    Theo and Gervinho or AOC and Andrei can play .So only 1 needs play in place of RVP.
    Why are you fretting?

  230. 2 stale cliches in the last 2 sentences of my post must tie some sort of record. I need to learn to proofread.

  231. Surely his IP address would show him up? Last time he said he was let back in by Yogi.

    Maybe this time he moved house, just to stay and argue with us on ACLF!

    It’s a great honour when you think about it.

  232. Andy Carroll moves to West Ham on loan with an option to buy for £17m..?!

  233. @bobbyp (til Dex named and shamed him and scared him off)

    You seem to have a fluid concept of “market rate”. Much like Citeh’s. The ‘market rate’ for Ade was £24m and 175k per week when Citeh and his agents unsettled him from Arsenal. Now he’s had a fine season for a much lesser team the “market rate” is £6m and £100 k a week. And still they can’t shift him. The market rate appears to be fucked up.

    Perhaps we should ignore the market rate and trust in Arsene’s judge ment. He’s right more often than he’s wrong 😎

    And now Arshavin’s wages are too high…I imagine that you would have been one of the first to start whining if we’d lost out on his signing due to Wenger’s supposed reluctance to pay top dollar for world stars (which AA was, and is). Admit it, you just hate Arsene x

  234. One way or another RvP will stay this season. Whether it’s his last or not we will have to wait and see.

    But George is right there Bill. Stick Podolski, or Giroud in instead of el capitano ans we are good enough to beat Sunderland and Stoke. ALL the other fantastic new signings can be eased in accordingly. 🙂

  235. Having been loaned out 3 seasons in a row & done everything asked of him, I think AW just might retain Lansbury as he’s done Bartley.
    He’s on the official first team list though w/o a number like Poldi.

    these could all be available by 31/8/12:
    9, 10, 18, 21, 13, 22, 24, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 52.

    my guess:
    Poldi: 9 (or 10)
    Lansbury: 34
    Carzola: 13
    GK?: 22

  236. corr: Having been loaned out 4 seasons in a row….


  237. Apparantly, Lansbury was all set to play on the tour till he suffered a late injury. Eisfield took his place and he took his chance really well.

  238. “Arsene Wenger has said of Lansbury: “Henri Lansbury is a type of player who I rate because of his qualities, but as well his mental strength, the timing of his runs. He gives you qualities that are very difficult to find in the modern game. He goes always behind [the defence] and he has the timing to get in the box and scores goals from midfield. He is showing that again the other night when you see the cross coming in, who is on the move? It’s Henri. I like his attitude, his spirit, his mental strength and of course his qualities. He has not played for a while; he played with cramps until the last minute [against Spurs] and has a fantastic team attitude. I rate him and I like him.”

    i’m holding you to your words boss.
    give the young man a shirt.

  239. Carroll could be an excellent player IMO. However, he suffers from that common affliction suffered by many a professional British player;


    The bright lights, nite clubs, booze, broads n charlie will prove his undoing even more so than Newcastle’s Big Meerkat.

    I mean Market, sorry.

  240. so did the Scousers pay ABOVE market rate for Carroll too Jonny???
    ..this is getting too confusing!

  241. George:

    I am not fretting. There are lots of changes and that will take some time to sort out and we can’t really count on Jack or TR7 before Christmas I suspect. However, even without RVP, if the rest of this group stays together and we can add another piece or 2 next summer and figure out the defense thing we have the potential to be amazing.

  242. pedantic george

    A Big Meerkat would be a match for Gunnersarace.

  243. methinks B.Rodge is going to make Liverpool better…
    he has cajones.

    sending AC off to Allardyce with the option to buy @ 17m AFTER that most powerful of headers at the Euros and NOT to Tyneside
    says a lot about the man.

    now if he keeps Aquilani, reduces the Charlie the coward’s minutes, time manages Gerrard better, uses Sterling & successfully changes their style from the frantic long pass to a more modern mid-range game a la Swans, I’d be worried.

  244. That shit cra’y, Jonny

    Brendan Rogers must think he is proper shit.

    Never was he a 35million pound player, but to off load him on a 50% discount just year after signing him is mental .

    It’s Robbie Keane part 2

    July 2008:

    Liverpool pay £20 million for Keane from the spuds

    6 months later

    Feb 2009 :

    Spuds buy back Keane from Liverpool for £12 million. Liverpool literally paid Keane’s wages for 6 months and gave the spuds a gift wrapped 8million for the pleasure.

    Imagine how much we’d be slaughtered if we conducted our transfers anything close to this craziness. On second thoughts, AW would probably be lauded for not treating the cash as if it was his own money, which apparently is a crime,

  245. *Gunnersaurus* George. It’s a fucking green dinosaur!

  246. corr: A Big Meerkat would be a match for Gunnersaurus, PG.

    …that’d be 50 guineas, old chap

  247. u can split that between FFS and I

  248. mgk,
    its basically money laundering

    sorry, i can’t explain it but i’m sure Dex or George or YW or ZP or LimestoneG or steww (if he’d ever forgive me) or bobbyp can

  249. West Ham have denied the deal is done now.

    Team GB losing out in the swimming, as well as everything else I see.

    Team Gettting Beaten even.

  250. Aman | July 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Well, we’d better hope Mr Rodgers doesn’t have any spies reading this blog, else they’d be shoo-ins for the title, ai Aman!!

  251. Dexter | July 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Bronze for men in the Gymnastics is pretty awesome, Dex. We had silver for about 15 minutes, too!

  252. mgk,
    lol..won’t be surprised if there’s a bobbyp leaking info on every top 6 team’s best blogs..

    YW’s my agent.

  253. That is an achievement Matt, but given all the hype about how brilliant our swimmers, divers, cyclists are, it’s a right old royal british farce man.

  254. arsenalandrew

    We woz wobbed in the Gym – Japanese gymnast collapsed off her horse and freakishly landed on both feet and they STILL won silver, after 15 mins of appeal.

    I can’t deny, I had a good look to see if that Howard Webb was doing a stint on the judging panel. Sick. And not in that new-fangled ‘good’ way. The last time we’d won anything in that discipline was exactly 100 years ago …

  255. Just love the fact that Carzola turned down Real Madrid…

    “On 26 August 2008, Cazorla announced that Real Madrid wanted to buy him. He then went on to cause a stir in the media by rejecting the team announcing that, “There are many other things in football besides Real Madrid. It’s clear that it is possible to say “no” to them, There is no doubt that they are a great team, but I also feel very satisfied and valued at my club”. “I hope I can continue growing at Villarreal because I am young and I’m only starting off with the national team.”

    whatever happened to that kid Mourinho bought from Racing Santander but didn’t make it at Madrid?….where is he?…..oh, just found it Sergio Valencia with a 2 year buy-back option…such crap

    I just do not expect to see Nuri Şahin in the EPL..let alone with us

  256. I didn’t know this even existed… a transfer market website??

  257. market value(£m):

    Robin 42
    Song 25
    Jack 19.5
    Poldi 17.5
    Theo 16.5
    Verm 16.5
    Sagna 16.5
    Kos 16…etc

    interesting…everyone’s got a price…
    new world order…run by the markets….
    wonder how much each of us here is worth to ACLF?
    or how much ACLF is worth in the blog market?

    (so much to take in…)

  258. Andrew that was a boy landing with all the grace of a strangled goose no? Unless they are now letting girls compete in the mens’ team?!

  259. arsenalandrew

    It was indeed a boy, Jonny – I was just getting in a cheap jibe from the old “she fell of her horse” stable of semi-comedic cliches.

    Medal ceremony was somewhat surreal with the crowd going nuts for the bronze-placed team and politely applauding first and second!

  260. MGK – it’s lunacy mate utter lunacy but, as we all know, Carroll’s cost was inflated because of the lack of time available to complete the deal coupled with the Torres windfall – which essentially put Newcastle in the driving seat. They knew Liverpool had no other alternatives.

    I have heard it is common knowledge in the Toon that the Barcodes were ready to accept £25M but Liverpool failed to try to negotiate.

    I can see why he doesn’t fit into Rodgers’ plans – half think they might make a move for Dempsey next.

  261. AA 9.7
    Carzola 17.5
    Adrián Lopez 8.8
    G.Rossi 17.5
    Sahin 16
    Craig Gordon 2.6

    ..this sh*t puts things in perspective…especially concerning Bill & co.’s take on our players…Kees Vos’ too.

  262. Carroll’s presently valued @ 13.5

    more like they knew Liverpool weren’t very bright uptop, Jonny

  263. MGK is right – Team GB qualifying for the finals was considered a great achievement in itslef to get a bronze (robbed silver) is just amazing. The commentary box were squealing with amazement and hugging each other – really great stuff.

    Great rowing today – well set up for the semis.

  264. arsenalandrew

    Yes, a great buzz, isn’t there Jonny?!

    Best part is the end should more or less segue with the start of the football season, ha ha!

  265. Manuel Almunia has joined Watford on a 1 year deal, best of luck to him.

    It is apparently looking more and more likely that we will be getting Sahin on a 1 year loan from madrid. I wonder if we will have an option of a permanent move? Cazorla is looking like a done deal too, not a bad summer so far then in terms of transferrs.

  266. arsenalandrew

    Aman – it seems to overstate certain values somewhat and understates the others eg RvP, at almost 29 years of age £42 million, Kos and TV at a mere £16m and Song, somewhat alarmingly at £25m with Theo also trailing in at a hard to get out of bed for £16.5m.

    Doesn’t make too much sense to me …

  267. This cazorla deal is a bould move. i hope steve bold approves.

    this is why i refuse to go on twatter…full of twats.

  268. pedantic george

    Duke,only if you follow them.

  269. Irish – should we complete both of those (which would surprise me greatly) that would be remarkable.

    There still remains the issue regarding Fab but he has remained quiet so perhaps he is happy to see out his contract.

    Then the final question, for me, is do we have enough defence in our midfield? Song still prefers to play a different role than the out-and-out DM and the alternatives remain something of a gamble. What happens during ACN?

    Headaches for Wenger to answer.

  270. I see Man U just announced a new shirt deal worth about $25m a year, almost 5 times what we are getting.

  271. You just as well refuse to walk down the street because that too can be full of twats.

  272. Apparantly Sahin can play DM Jonny. So can Coquelin and Frimpong. And AW feels Diaby can too.

  273. Jonny – Cazorla playing alongside Song would be awesome, as I think they could easily trade off on their forward runs. Cazorla is a pretty strong tackler too, not afraid to get dirty. Very similar to how Song has developed in some ways. Sahin disappeared after he signed for Madrid last year, if he does sign for us I would imagine he would be desperate to have another breakout year like he did for Dortmund 2 years ago. I could picture him, Diaby and Arteta making up a very effective midfield. I would also like to see Song, Cazorla and Rosicky. That still leaves Rambo, JW, Le Coq and Frimpong. Headaches indeed!!!!

  274. IrishG;

    Our old sponsorship deals and naming rights cannot end soon enough man.

    They served their original purpose I guess. But we are missing out big stylee.

  275. A midfield three of; Arteta; Song and Diaby looks pretty good to me right now. Signing Cazorla would give us serious options. Sahin would be a bonus, IMO.

    TBH, I see him goin to the spuds to help ease their pain.

  276. DEx – They will mate. Shirt deal is up in 2014 I believe, so I am sure IG is already talking to Emirates about either renewing or someone else entirely. Interestingly, it is Chevrolet who are sponsoring Man Utd, considering IG’s American connections I wonder if we could get Ford or some such to 1-up their old rivals?

  277. Dex – I cannot see him going to the Spuds, unless part of the Modric deal.

  278. pedantic george

    Bloody hell.Enough with the commercial deal shit.Let us Judge IG on the deals he negotiates ,not the ones others did.

  279. Irishgray;

    I think Smith & Wesson, or Winchester if we are going american man.

    Or crack.

    Shut up george. if you have nothing to offer this high brow me and IG are involved in, you should keep your flabby nose out.

  280. interesting about Sahin – I’ve never seen him play. I’m not depending on Diaby for anything – delighted if he plays but he’s never appeared much of DM on the rare occasions he has played.

    Coquelin – still learning. Ditto Frimpong – though I did like how he looked prior to injury at Wolves.

  281. Yea George, go to bed man!! You’re getting cranky.

    Dex – Crack is soooooo1980’s mate!! How’s about ‘Meth’?

  282. Jonny – I don’t think anybody sees Diaby as a DM, more the creative type. I could see Arteta taking on the DM role alongside Diaby, with maybe Sahin taking up the 3rd midfield role. Plenty of options if we do get both him and Cazorla.

  283. I’ve never thought of Diaby as a DM either TBH. I think Coquelin is the closest we currently have. He looked bulked up too in the tour games. Frimpong may well need another loan thanks to his latest injury he suffered. Real shame for the fella.

    The M’Villa deal looks dead, so Sahin, IF he signs would be an option I suppose?

  284. IrishGray;

    Crack just needs re-branding as an appetite suppresent. I don’t that kind of long term future for Meth Amphet man.

  285. Dex – I agree the M’Villa move looks dead in the water, a pity but then again he is pretty young and not exactly cheap is he? If we had bought him he would have been directly competing (impeding?) with Coquellin. I would much rather get someone older and more experienced that could teach Coquellin and not be overwhelmed when playing in the likes of the CL.

  286. does anyone really beleive we will sign this cazorla dude whoever the fuk he is.

  287. well, maybe 😉
    it depends on what happens with the whatsit at malaga..
    maybe we wont sign him in the end..but at least we are in for him, and sahin maybe as the backup if it all goes tits up with gorgonzola

    so at least we are making strides. and if we miss out of both it could well end up being mvilla, but i think someone will end up coming in..

  288. Next 2 days we will know Dukeyg, according to the twats on twatter.

  289. yep we wait to hear what the twits come out with!!

  290. its very possible that m’villa was the first choice and a deal may well have been ‘99%’ completed..
    but over the course of a summer things can happen..

    like financial problems at malaga and all of a sudden a player you missed out on the year before becomes available again..
    or other teams flexing muscles in the market and paying 35mil for modric leaving a very talented former bundesliga player of the year in no mans land.

    all of a sudden 15m-20m or what ever it was to get m’vila seems better spent elsewhere..

  291. John Cross in the M*rror has outdone himself today. He is ‘reporting’ that Juve will “tempt” RvP with an offer of £190k a week AFTER Tax on a 5 year deal. AND pay AFC £20m. That’s a total outlay of £70m apparantly.

    Utter bollocks and pure agent drivel.


    I would love us to sign Cazorla and M’Villa as that would leave us well covered and with unreal options in every department. Wenger seems very keen on both players if past attempts to sign them are anything to go by. But given how much rennes seem to want, as well as Malaga’s asking price for Santi mean it will most probably be one or the other.

  292. dex
    this is the good thing about this loan deal for sahin..

    i agree, our options if we could get two would be endless..mvilla and carzola are not likely to happen..its one or the other..

    but if we could get one, and sahin on loan, with a buy out clause, then his transfer comes out of next years budget if we feel hes impressed enough..

    we could still end up with two..

  293. The Cazorla one looks most likely, right now. Which I am well happy about. getting one of the other 2 would be great.

  294. hes the one with the highest of the attirbutes we are looking for i suppose..
    could be a real coup..
    he’ll do by himself..

  295. “We’re strong offensively and and [assistant manager] Steve Bould has been doing some fantastic work with the defence. That seems to be working very well. It all makes me believe we’ll be that little bit stronger.”

    Szczesny worked with Bould while he learned his trade in the Arsenal academy and he remains a big admirer of the man who won three league titles during a glittering playing career.

    “We’ve done a lot of [defensive] shape work in training, work on when we lose the ball and a lot of defending on crosses,” explained Szczesny.

    “It’s all very sharp as well. Steve likes to shout at players and keep them on their toes – so it’s looking positive.

    “I don’t think we can concede more goals than we did last year,” added Szczesny. “I was the one in goal, I was the one who conceded all those goals, and I’m just disappointed because it shows our defending was a big problem for us last season.

    “We’ll do everything we can to make it better.”
    Well, I am sure this won’t mean shit to people who constantly slate the team and coaching staff, but it all sounds like things are trying to be improved on. We won’t really know till the season is well under way though.

    You can bet your bottom that every goal conceded will prove to some that we are shit.

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